Last night during Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training we had to do a 62 minute version of the Sat Kriya meditation, which you can find HERE if interested. It happened to be one of the most powerful experiences of my life, even up there with taking Ayahuasca, kambo and mushrooms.
First of all, to stay in this position for 62 minutes is asking your body to do something it REALLY doesn’t wanna do. And when you’re in this highly meditative state, you start to become aware of EVERYTHING. At least I did.
I kept thinking of something my friend Carey said in a recent women’s group, that when she birthed her daughter it was an amazing experience because she became a true observer, and she said she was able to just witness the PROCESS and stay separate from it, watching as her body wrung out this baby. As someone who really wants to experience childbirth someday, I knew that I’d have to get through this experience and practice getting into this “observer” mode.
When we began, my nose and eye were already itchy, but I remembered what I read about Vipassana silent retreats and how when you’re sitting in meditation for such a long time, you start to notice that sensations come and go. So I decided to watch these sensations come and go and started getting really curious and interested to see what sensation would come next. I noticed how my fingers would ever so slightly take turns leaning on each other to alleviate tension in my shoulders. I noticed how shifting slightly in my legs would create a variety of sharp sensations that would shoot through my feet and ankles and result in numbness. At first it was really quite beautiful to experience the cycle of bodily sensations and truly feel the temporary nature of all our discomfort.
At one point I burst out laughing because I couldn’t believe how fucked up I must be to try something so painful, and then I remembered I went to the jungle to have a spiritual death and thought it’s been so funny what I’ve put myself through to heal.
I was hoping after that I was through the worst of it and I would break through into some blissful state, but then our teachers said it was only halfway done and I thought “ARE YOU KIDDING?!” The rest of the way was one of the most physically painful experiences of my life!
The sensations were no longer “interesting” they were just HORRIBLY PAINFUL and I couldn’t focus on the chanting as well as before. And then I had this realization that these waves of pain are the waves of life, and yes we do experience joy, but we also experience this PAIN… over and over again. And parts of us are constantly dying, over and over again. Within this pain in my body, I felt the ebb and flow of these life/death/life cycles that I had previously only felt mentally through ayahuasca and shrooms. Every time I feel these cycles it’s so overwhelming to me, but this was a different kind of overwhelm.
It’s like I was meeting my own emotions head on, and normally I lash out like scream at the top of my lungs or go be mean to Eddy or have a crying tantrum, but this was the first time I experienced not really having anywhere for my emotions to go, because I had to stay in this pose and had to keep chanting. I would also be fine for long stretches of time, then suddenly feel a sharp stab of pain and IMMEDIATELY start howling because that was the only way to get my mind off it, since I really no longer wanted to experience the physical sensations. My own VOICE was the only thing that could distract me. Jen would say things like “EXPERIENCE YOUR OWN TRUE POWER. NO ONE CAN TAKE THIS FROM YOU” and I feel like I DID. The fact that my screaming could distract me from that pain made me see this EXPLOSIVE side of me is actually SO POWERFUL, I just need to learn how to tame it — like fire.
I started to wonder if all this screaming and crying I was doing was all built up from my past when I used to never cry, never scream, and repressed it all. It was like all those uncomfortable moments in my life were represented by these shooting pains I would get, and I saw that THIS IS JUST LIFE. EVERYONE GOES THROUGH THIS. EVERYONE IS CONSTANTLY GOING THROUGH THESE SENSATIONS OF PAIN. And then I started grieving because I realized I have to ACCEPT this. The DARK part of duality. Because this is just… nature.
I remember also being ANGRY thinking “I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS” even though I had TOTALLY signed up for Kundalini training, I didn’t sign up for life. We all have to go through this experience of being human… but we didn’t ASK for it. I’m sure in my yoga training they would argue that our souls all CHOSE to be here on this earth at this specific time in history to learn very specific lessons. On good days sure, I believe that, but because pain and suffering are SUCH a constant in our lives… honestly it’s pretty fucked up that we have to just keep going through this.
Maybe this just means I still have a lot to release before I can achieve a true state of peace, but peace is pretty damn hard when you’re living such a dualistic, paradoxical existence.
At the very end when Jen said “YOU ONLY HAVE A COUPLE SECONDS LEFT, THESE ARE THE ONES THAT COUNT THE MOST” I actually did manage to enter a strange state of peace, where all this bright light came in and I had a flash of what I saw when I did ayahuasca, this triangle symbol… what I feel represents my soul. And then I collapsed.
My body felt broken, like my arms and legs just no longer worked. Plus I immediately started crying so hard it was like my dad had died all over again. It took so much energy to just get to laying on my back.
But I made it, while in that position I literally felt completely spent. I couldn’t move ANYTHING, all I could do was heave heavy sobs. But then a familiar vision came to me that I had had years ago when I did energy work with Jackie.
I had washed up, unconscious, on a black volcanic shore, and a little being of light that I’m now sure is something representative of my inner child, comes up with a pitcher and starts pouring liquid light into my mouth. It spills out the sides of my mouth as rainbow light and the rainbow liquid starts to collect around my body and seep into the volcanic rock, and as it does, life begins to grow — grass, flowers, plants — everything becomes green.
That’s where the vision previously ended, but this time as I lay in Savasana on the ground after this kriya, I started to feel as though my arms and legs had become roots and they were rooted into the ground. Then in my vision, I saw that this tree began to grow from my abdomen, and my body was the root system. It grew until it had a fairly decent canopy, but I could tell it was still a young tree. However, it was able to grant shade.
And suddenly my whole life was flashing before my eyes, starting with my pregnant mom appearing under the tree that was me, using it as shade. I’m not going to type out everything that came up because it’s WAY TOO MUCH, but from there it accelerated through my childhood coping with the struggles my parents had, then into me waiting in the hospital during my mom’s miscarriage and feeling her pain so deeply that I never even thought about. Then my thoughts shifted to my mom and how there were so many points in my life that I hated her, and even now it’s rough sometimes to go back and do this healing work and see the depths by which her words and demeanor affected me, “stunted” me. And although I feel like I’ve forgiven her and seen her as her own person, it wasn’t until last night that I feel like I began to really open my heart to her and feel for all of her sacrifices, her loss and pain. Lol I even texted her about it but I’m absolutely certain she doesn’t know how to respond…
And THEN after I went through this with my mom, I continued to go through my life, my teenage years and my relationship with Michael, and Vince, but then when I got to Eddy it’s like the heart opening happened AGAIN with him, and I started to cry for all the pain HE had gone through in his past that he always tried to tell me about and I thought I was listening, but I suppose I wasn’t EMPATHIZING. It felt as though something was cracking open in me, and it’s the part of me that has always avoided truly opening myself to experiencing the horror and pain of others at a deeper level, rather than just sympathizing with them from the outside.
It was a POWERFUL experience.
Trees have been coming up a lot lately, and I love this quote by Ram Dass which Jen brought to one of her morning meditations recently.
I was witnessing my OWN tree. The moments that came up for me when my life flashed before my eyes were the moments when my tree BENT, or took a different direction. And this tree represented my WISDOM. This tree is the wise woman within me… growing this entire time but never able to provide shade until NOW. This tree was the perfect symbol of the observer within me, and it also enabled me to feel on a deep level the WISDOM of ALL TREES. They stand there, weathering countless storms, witnessing a variety of lifetimes, that life/death/life cycle ALL AROUND THEM CONSTANTLY, and THEY’RE not allowed to have tantrums, THEY’RE not allowed to cry… but the WHOLE PLANET is dying and they just stand there and OBSERVE it ALL…
When I finally was able to get up to write all this down in my journal, I had realized that there were so many times I WANTED to get up, but my body straight up would say “no, stay there, you’re not ready” and would tense up instead of rise… and I had to repeatedly breathe into it and relax, and as I did I would go back into my visions. It was all such a trippy experience, but I felt like I did so much intuition building work and have shifted so profoundly because of it.
Afterward Eddy was playing all these beautiful old songs in this playlist that he made for me, titled “Elora.” Every song he would play just spoke to my soul on such a deep level that all I could do was cry. I was completely drained. Absolutely spent. But in the best way possible.
Eddy and I of course had a wonderful discussion after, and he always brings things back to this world, this reality, this system that we’re living in. I could see how self centered I’ve been because of the programming of this society, this culture, and the reason I seek out such extreme experiences is because there’s such a strong part of me that KNOWS I need to be reprogrammed. That knows I need to learn to PROGRAM MYSELF.
This quarantine is exposing so much of our broken capitalist system and the brainwashing of this consumerist society, and I see now that every time I do something like this, I’m slowly breaking down the effects of this culture and coming back to myself in the way that I can open my heart and be there for other people, like my mom, like Eddy. It’s disgusting to me the gluttony and selfishness that has pervaded most of my life, simply because my mom wanted me to have what she didn’t have in the Philippines, but the excess becomes TOXIC.
It’s so nice to feel like my heart is finally starting to open and I’m hoping this means I’m beginning to move out of my lower chakras. I am beyond grateful for tools like yoga and meditation that don’t require me to go on some trip or take some substance to meet my truest self… and now awesome it is that the closer I get to myself, the closer I also get to other people. Yes life is pain, but it’s also beautiful as fuck.
I wrote this hours ago and am just posting it now, but now I need to post something else. What was even the point of this? God.
Here are some crappy drawings that I didn’t get a chance to finish but I’m gonna put them here anyway because I don’t think I’ll ever go back and finish them later so might as well. Gets the point across.